Following in the Steps of Novelists, a Painter and a King

Today I gave the Youngest a lift to Bowes so that she could picnic with friends. As I also had to pick her up afterwards I passed the interlude 4 miles away down the road from her in Barnard Castle. It was an appropriate destination at a time when I continue to follow the Future Learn course on England in the time of Richard III, for the castle there was one of his main residences for some 10 years or more and he was also a great benefactor of the town's Parish Church.

To pass the time I took my sketch book and made some rather rough drawings of the castle moving to a point close to where Turner himself sketched and then painted the bridge and castle. It's been a long time since I drew for pleasure and I confess that I am rather rusty but practice makes perfect as they say and retirement is now affording the time and opportunity for improvement. It was certainly a good way to fill in a couple of hours, although the passing visitors craning to peer at my artistic efforts were somewhat disconcerting.

With the castle as well as the 18th century Buttermarket, 19th century Bowes Museum, the market town layout and numerous antique shops, Barnard Castle remains an attractive place for a visitor and in today's sunshine there seemed to be plenty of tourists.

It's said that William Wordsworth, Daniel Defoe and more recently Bill Bryson have all visited and, of course, it is there that Charles Dickens stayed whilst researching and writing Nicholas Nickleby. Perhaps it's as well I was only there for an afternoon, otherwise creative impulses might have encouraged me to try my hand at writing a novel rather than drawing a few lines in a sketch book.


Debra Journet said…
This is the sort of feeling I want to find--that I can create something. in my working life. I either wrote memos, letters of recommendation, etc or "scholarship.". I am done with scholarship (I think) but not sure where else to go. I love the fluidity of moving between pictures and words, sketches and a novel.
Debra Journet said…
PS. I just realized this is an old post. I have been sort of wandering around your blog.
Caree Risover said…
It may have been written last year but it is still relevant and, of course, I am still struggling to perfect my sketching technique although I invested in some new pencils only yesterday.
Gil Stewart said…
So many of us have a life-long dream that deserves more time than we could devote to it in pre-retirement. For me it was about writing---as in fiction, relational stories about those of us in what I call our October years. In this brave new world of inexpensive self-publishing I have eleven paperbacks and ebooks on If you are a wannabe novelist with retirement hours to invest I recommend it.
Caree Risover said…
Wow Gil - I knew we are all supposed to have one book in us but eleven is amazing. I shall be checking them out on Amazon.

Most Popular Posts of All Time

All Aboard for Pampering

The 3 x 60 Challenge

Late, Even in Retirement

One a Day

A Reprieve

The Danger Zone

Business Networking in Retirement


Not Only But Also

An Unhealthy Relationship

Popular Posts in last 30 days

Eating Out


At the Weekend

A Month for Optimism

A Sticky Situation

All Aboard for Pampering

The 3 x 60 Challenge


Bitten by the Bug

Space Invaders